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ryank020
1st Mate

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Initially Posted - 07/16/2017 :  15:04:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am looking for anyone that has input on sailing with infants or small children on their 25. My wife and I just had our first and are looking to get back on the water with our little one once we can get the weather to cool off a bit. So the big question is, what do you do with the infant while sailing? Some suggestions I have found is to put baby in their car seat in the cabin while sailing, but where do you attach the carrier to it isn't moving around? My wife also has a carrier to carry baby on her chest that she has proposed using.


1983 Cat 25 FK/TR

islander
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 07/16/2017 :  15:45:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Personally my opinion is that if they can't walk and swim they shouldn't be on a boat. My daughter has a 5 month old and wouldn't think of doing what you are suggesting. There is also the problem of a life jacket if they are out of the cabin. We had some children drown in a sinking boat a few years ago. They were older and could swim but they were trapped in the cabin mainly because their parents made them wear life jackets that pinned them to the ceiling. It would be something you could never forgive yourself for if an accident should happen. Children are precious and depend on adults to make the right decisions concerning their safety.Thats my rant. Here s the Coast Guards rules.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Boating Safety, an infant should not travel on a boat until they weigh at least 18 pounds and can wear a personal flotation device (PFD). Most babies will reach that weight when they are between 4 and 11 months old.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound



Edited by - islander on 07/16/2017 16:14:51
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Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
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Response Posted - 07/16/2017 :  16:36:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
FWIW, USCG regs say any child under 13 must be wearing a PFD approved for their size if they're outside of the cabin. An infant in a carrier secured in the cabin is clearly not an issue there (unless your state has some other regs). If I'm thinking of the same incident Scott cites above, the vessel was power, and rolled over due to excessive weight on the flying bridge (probably) combined with a large boat wake. A C-25 doesn't often do that--nor does anything else.

IMHO, your infant is safer secured in the cabin of your C-25 than in your car. A catastrophic collision would be the most likely threat either way, and I suspect that's more likely on a street in your neighborhood than on the water. But the risks, however small, are everywhere. Now, starting with when s/he becomes a mobile "rug rat", then you can have a challenge! (Some have installed netting on the lifelines and stanchions.)

Have a nice sail--a bunch of them!

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 07/16/2017 16:36:43
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islander
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Response Posted - 07/16/2017 :  17:31:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I disagree somewhat here. Car seats were designed to protect a child in an auto accident. They are not designed for boats or as a flotation device. Most likely at an average 20 lbs it would sink like a rock or float for a while with the baby face down. Strapping it inside the cabin would make it that more difficult to get to the baby in an emergency. Emergencys are usually a panic confusing situation. Doing a little research turns up that the baby is safest in a PFD that floats the baby face up and outside the cabin in an adults lap.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound



Edited by - islander on 07/16/2017 17:43:20
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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Response Posted - 07/16/2017 :  17:55:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by islander


According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Boating Safety, an infant should not travel on a boat until they weigh at least 18 pounds and can wear a personal flotation device (PFD). Most babies will reach that weight when they are between 4 and 11 months old.

In the same article where that statement was made, the following comment was also made: "Although they should not travel on a boat when they are newborn babies, there is no reason why you can’t have a baby on a boat that is docked, anchored or moving slowly (at no wake zone speeds of 6 MPH) as long as the baby is wearing an infant life jacket that is intended for infants under 30 lbs." The author makes a distinction between "traveling" on a boat and "going" on a boat: "As for bringing a baby on a boat, I think the key phrase is “should not travel” as opposed to “should not go on” a boat with an infant."http://www.boaterkids.com/is-it-safe-to-bring-a-baby-or-infant-on-a-boat/

Since sailboats rarely exceed no wake zone speeds, the general statement doesn't apply.

Nevertheless, that doesn't mean there aren't significant concessions that a parent must make to the safety and comfort of an infant onboard.

A well secured infant car seat is one approach. We took a different approach with my son, who began sailing with us at age 4 months. We put him in the vberth, with a baby gate across the doorway. We put a small duffel bag under the cushion on each side of the vberth. That gave the vberth cushions a U shape. When we tacked, he would either remain in the bottom of the U, or he might roll over once. I think he liked being turned over occasionally. We kept the hatch open so he would have ventilation. We never sailed with him in very hot conditions. We never sailed with him in strong, gusty winds. we never let the boat heel excessively. We checked on him frequently. With a baby onboard, you have to restrain yourself for awhile from sailing balls-to-the-wall, but you can still enjoy sailing, as long as you see first and foremost to the comfort and safety of the infant.

Sometime around the time he was crawling, we brought him on deck occasionally. We chose to put a safety harness on him, instead of a life jacket, and we lashed him to the boat with a short tether. Our reasoning was that we preferred that the harness and tether keep him attached to the boat, instead of falling off and floating free. Bringing him on deck creates a new problem. You have to be very careful to see that he can't fall or be injured on deck. Again, avoiding excess heeling will help a great deal.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 07/16/2017 :  18:17:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
A catastrophic collision would be the most likely threat either way, and I suspect that's more likely on a street in your neighborhood than on the water.

Might be true but most accidents are not planed. A sea cock/hose breaks, Drunk powerboaters hit you at speed, Other sailboats can T bone you, Strike an underwater object with a keel drop. There are hundreds of ways that can turn ugly in an instant. Don't fool yourself by thinking that sailboats are at less of a risk due to the slower speeds. These two guys on a perfectly clear day ran into each other in my Harbor. They both sank in an instant.


Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
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Response Posted - 07/16/2017 :  19:27:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
First, Scott, they have a fin keel, but.........

Anecdotes are not valid evidence. Would you like me to find a police photo of the upside-down car with all six occupants, including an infant, crushed to death, close to our house, when my daughter was an EMT on duty that morning? Maybe they should keep their infant in the house until s/he is 35, when the insurance industry says s/he is safer on the road.

A 25' cruising sailboat might be one of the safest places you can be on a pleasant Sunday afternoon, other than your basement (which could fill with carbon monoxide gas)... Yes, as Steve says, I'd look for a "weather window"--I was making that assumption.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 07/16/2017 19:42:56
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dasreboot
Admiral

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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  05:20:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
anything you do has some risk associated with it. I had a hard time convincing my wife the difference between perceived risk and actual risk. calmly and rationally analyze the risk and mitigate what you cannot control. Yes if you were run down by a drunk powerboater, you would not be able to get the kids out of the cabin. You would also not be able to save them in a train wreck, airplane crash, or horrifically violent auto wreck. All of which are perhaps less rare than the sailboat accident. We can mitigate for the likely accidents, which on boats are 1) falling through a hatch, 2) going overboard. There is not much you can do to mitigate the one in a million accidents.

Todd Lewis
ARWEN 84 TR/SK C25 #4031
Eowyn 87 TR/WK C25 #5656
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islander
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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  05:58:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave I think your reading me wrong. First I never drew any lines between boats and cars. The point I'm trying to make is that there is risks in boating and $hit happens. The question here is where a baby would be safest on a boat when the unexpected does happen as in the electrical fire you experienced on your friends boat. That could have turned out much worse. You have to think of the worse case scenario in order to minimise risk and keep yourself and crew as safe as possible. That's why you carry life vests, Flares etc. I've never fallen overboard so why would I tether my self in? Have I ever needed those safty items? No but they are there for the "What if". To me having a baby in the cabin or V berth just increases those risks by adding time to and possibly preventing you from being able to go and get the baby. If you had an electrical fire in the cabin, How are you going to get to the baby in the V Berth? In the case of the 2 boats above, They were both motoring and were holed so bad that they filled with water and sank immediately. The crew said they didn't have time to put out a Mayday. I can't imagine that if they had a baby onboard that they would of had time to go in a cabin or V berth.



Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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ryank020
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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  06:17:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Certainly lots of good opinions/concerns expressed here!

Islander, I certainly see where you have some valid concerns regarding safety in the case of an accident. I should have prefaced by saying that we do have an infant life vest and plan to use when our baby could fit in it. One question was when could she fit, and I think I have the answer. I know freak accidents can still happen, but I sail only on an inland lake where waves are not a concern and wind rarely picks up to where I would be concerned of a knock-down. I get the potential misshaps (thru hulls blow, collision with another boat), but I'd argue that I'm probably 100x more likely to be in a car wreck on my way to the lake that would result in substantial injury.

The tentative plan for this year was to take the baby out on the days where we had a calmer wind and no heat and leave her with grandparents on any day that the heat was excessive or had more wind. Then next year, when we would have her on deck, likely install the lifeline nets and begin to use the PFD.

Steve, Clever thought on the v-berth! I may have to try that once she is a little bigger.

1983 Cat 25 FK/TR
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islander
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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  06:48:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Agreed that the risks are small in your situation but here is a thread on the subject.https://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?84691-floatation-for-car-seats-while-boating

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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Bladeswell
Captain

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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  06:58:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Guys,

A tough subject to be sure. First let me be clear that I do not have nearly the experience that most of you have. And I fully understand that ryank plans to sail only on an inland lake that is mostly calm and waveless. I have never sailed on a lake and actually have no desire to. But to each his own and we dont all live on an ocean coast line. That being said, While out sailing Saturday the winds were up to about 12 knots with waves/swell at 3 ft. And while it made for fun and exhilarating sailing, I was taught a lesson quickly about anything unsecured down below. Mostly just small objects on shelves or anything loose.
For any ocean sailing, I believe I would have to go with Bruce on big enough to walk and able to swim. I cant see any way an infant could be safe or comfortable in our 25s on the ocean. Again, I say I understand he wasn't talking about ocean sailing. Just sayin.......

Bladeswell

C25 TR FK Hull #973 1979 L-Dinette. So.Cal.
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dasreboot
Admiral

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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  07:55:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
my coworker who sits 3 seats away and lives only a couple miles away lost his baby in the crib in her room when the house caught fire while everyone else was outside in the yard. when they saw the fire, it was too late to get the baby. they could not have planned for the fire. there was nothing anyone could have done. keep your boat in good shape, dont skimp on maintenance. that is the best you can do.

Todd Lewis
ARWEN 84 TR/SK C25 #4031
Eowyn 87 TR/WK C25 #5656
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  09:36:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Trains, Planes and automobiles.... I don't see the comparison here. A car is something that we are forced to use. Go to work, Go to an appointment, Go to a store so yes you are forced to take that risk. Get on a plane and take a seat. You are not in control. You rely on others to fly the plane and make decisions. You rely on a ground crew to maintain the plane and cross your fingers. Same for a train. You don't have control and are only along for the ride and all decisions are made by the engineer. Ahh but a boat is different. It is totally in your control. You are the captain. You make the decisions of when to go out or not, Where to go, When to head for home and how well you maintain the boat. On a boat you are as safe or unsafe as you make it. Sailing is something we enjoy but its not a necessity.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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JohnP
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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  09:41:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There are a number of issues with a non-ambulatory baby.

I think that carrying the baby in a front-pack on the boat would be the most enjoyable and secure way for the baby.

Then my immediate concern with a front-pack would be how the mother's PFD would function in the water with the baby attached? A test of the combination with a specific weight in the front-pack could determine if more flotation were needed, and if the mother's PFD itself functioned well. Holding the mother's head above the surface and the baby just below the surface is not an option.

Having the baby wear the baby-PFD while riding in the front-pack may be safer, but also may be really uncomfortable for both mom and kid.

You know, two-year old kids can be good swimmers, and they can tell fun stories about sailing adventures they've had! Babies can't.

JohnP
1978 C25 SR/FK "Gypsy"
Mill Creek off the Magothy River, Chesapeake Bay
Port Captain, northern Chesapeake Bay
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dasreboot
Admiral

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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  10:33:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i think we should now open discussion about firearms on board and anchors. maybe the best anchor to use when you have a firearm and a baby on board. ;)

Todd Lewis
ARWEN 84 TR/SK C25 #4031
Eowyn 87 TR/WK C25 #5656
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jduck00
Captain

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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  11:15:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Im grabbing the popcorn for this thread. Probably not the best advice, but I survived growing up being a toddler on power boats. At least that's what I'm told. Granted, we take things a bit more safely than our parents did. You will probably never get a consensus on this. Do your research, be safe, but don't get the point where you jump at shadows. The car ride the boat is probably more risk than being on the boat.

Jeremy Duck
The Lucky Duck
1980 SKSR Hull # 1850
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Bladeswell
Captain

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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  11:48:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Back for more,

I am not so sure I can agree with the baby in the front pack setup. It doesn't take into consideration the very real possibility of loosing ones balance and having a forward fall sudden enough not to be able to stop it with your arms/hands. Then you have a crushed to death infant possibility..........

Bladeswell

C25 TR FK Hull #973 1979 L-Dinette. So.Cal.
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ryank020
1st Mate

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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  12:18:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JohnP

There are a number of issues with a non-ambulatory baby.

I think that carrying the baby in a front-pack on the boat would be the most enjoyable and secure way for the baby.

Then my immediate concern with a front-pack would be how the mother's PFD would function in the water with the baby attached? A test of the combination with a specific weight in the front-pack could determine if more flotation were needed, and if the mother's PFD itself functioned well. Holding the mother's head above the surface and the baby just below the surface is not an option.

Having the baby wear the baby-PFD while riding in the front-pack may be safer, but also may be really uncomfortable for both mom and kid.

You know, two-year old kids can be good swimmers, and they can tell fun stories about sailing adventures they've had! Babies can't.




quote:
Originally posted by Bladeswell

Back for more,

I am not so sure I can agree with the baby in the front pack setup. It doesn't take into consideration the very real possibility of loosing ones balance and having a forward fall sudden enough not to be able to stop it with your arms/hands. Then you have a crushed to death infant possibility..........

Bladeswell




This had crossed my mind. Or what happens if she reaches overboard, leans over, and baby falls out of carrier. Or wife turns into a MOB and can't keep float due to the excess weight of baby and a wet carrier. I think these, as opposed to the boat sinking in 8 mph winds, or being in a collision, are very real possibilities. Perhaps I'll try out the fitting of the PFDs and see 1) how secure they are and 2) how comfortable it is for wife and baby.

The reason I bought a larger boat was so my family could enjoy the boat and I could introduce my children to sailing at a young age so they become comfortable both on the water and the boat. I'm not going to do anything to put a child in imminent danger, but I'm also see no reason to cease having a certain lifestyle (i.e. sailing in this case) just because I now have a child. I'll modify my initial statement and say my wife and I have already decided to go sailing with an infant and would like recommendations on the safest, most effective ways others have sailed with infants and toddlers. There is an inherent danger in anything any of us do on a day to day basis.

1983 Cat 25 FK/TR
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Davy J
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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  13:06:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have no experience in this subject........

But it seems infant life vest and this thing mounted to the cabin top and good to go.................






Davy J

(Former photos in this area, as well as all my forum additions held ransom by Photobucket)

2005 Gemini 105Mc
PO 1987 C25 #5509 SR/SK
Tampa Bay
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Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
7358 Posts

Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  13:25:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Regarding the front carrier and infant PFD (together or separate)... A PFD is designed to keep the wearer's head above water, facing upward for breathing. It isn't specifically designed to keep the wearer's chest above the surface--especially if the chest is abnormally weighted so the overall center of gravity is shifted forward. Your wife might survive the overboard scenario and drown the baby. (As I understand it, the odds of dying from drowning are greater in fresh water than salt, because of the damage fresh water does to the lung tissue, making revival more difficult.)

The center of gravity issue also relates to balance when moving around on board--even below. It can be tricky enough--leading to the old saying, "one hand for the boat."

We didn't have a sailboat when either of our two girls was under 3, but we took our youngest on our 17' Daysailer when she was 3 or 4 (with her 8-year-old sister). So we never faced this particular issue. But if we'd wanted to sail with an infant on a C-25, I imagine we'd have rigged a way of securing her in a carrier on the starboard cabin settee where we could see and reach her easily. I'm guessing we wouldn't have done that on Long Island Sound or a Great Lake, but I don't know. It never was an option. The scenario is a factor in the decision. (And $#!+ happens everywhere.)

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 07/17/2017 13:28:44
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  15:14:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ha,ha Davy, I have this picture in my head of that thing with the baby swinging all over like a pendulum.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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GaryB
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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  17:14:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Certainly a lot of good points on both sides of the subject.

My question is, what is it you expect to gain by having a child this small on board? More than likely the child is not going to enjoy it and for sure will not remember it long term. By the time the weather cools you may WANT to have a day on the boat with your wife alone so you can have a break from being a parent 24 hours a day. :)

Is it REALLY that important to get a child a few months old out on the water? Is it WORTH the risk? No one wants to see something bad happen but what if it does? Are you going to be able to live with the fact that YOU made the decision to take this small helpless child out at such a young age and now something bad happened that cannot be reversed no matter what? How will it feel every night when you lay down to go to sleep knowing you made that decision?

What if you waited until next year when your child is older. Would the world come to an end?

While not the same scenario, I've personally seen the devastation to a husband, wife, brother, and sister that lost a child/brother they thought was upstairs sleeping. Doesn't matter the scenario, the result will be the same.

Sorry to sound so harsh but this is a human life. Bottom line is it's your decision. We can all offer our thoughts and opinions but you are the one that has to live with your decisions.

Next time you have a quiet moment with just you and your new child, look at that beautiful face, look into your child's eyes and think about all that we have said.


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GaryB
Andiamo
'89 SR/WK #5862
Kemah,TX

Edited by - GaryB on 07/17/2017 17:34:06
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GaryB
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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  17:16:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Davy J

I have no experience in this subject........

But it seems infant life vest and this thing mounted to the cabin top and good to go.................








Do they make those in an adult size? That would be a blast hanging off the end of the boom. Especially in a high wind jybe! LOL


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GaryB
Andiamo
'89 SR/WK #5862
Kemah,TX

Edited by - GaryB on 07/17/2017 17:17:10
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islander
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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  17:35:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Do they make those in an adult size?

Yea Gary, Its called a bosun chair.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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GaryB
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Response Posted - 07/17/2017 :  18:21:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by islander

quote:
Do they make those in an adult size?

Yea Gary, Its called a bosun chair.




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GaryB
Andiamo
'89 SR/WK #5862
Kemah,TX
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